BT extends fiber commitment

British Telecom predicts it will have completed 80% of its UK fiber rollout by end-2012, despite moving the goalposts by adding almost 200 new exchanges to the scheme.
The UK telco plans to upgrade another 178 exchanges to fiber in 2012, which will extend the coverage of the network by 1.8 million homes. The firm plans to cover two thirds of the UK with fiber by end 2014, with six million premises already able to access the network.
Olivia Garfield, chief of the firm’s Openreach division, reiterated a pledge to bid for government funds to cover some of the cost of deploying fiber. “It is important that as many premises as possible have access to fiber,” she explains.
BT chief Ian Livingston last week told government ministers fiber coverage could hit 90% of UK homes in the next five to six years. However, Openreach concedes not every home will be able to access the fiber network initially, because of “current network topography, and the economics of deployment.”